Topic: Aid

How has Oxfam’s approach to Influencing evolved over the last 75 years? New paper

Oxfam has just published a reflection on how its approach to ‘influencing’ has evolved since its foundation in 1942. Written by Ruth Mayne, Chris Stalker, Andrew Wells-Dang and Rodrigo Barahona, it’s stuffed full of enlightening case studies and should be of interest to anyone who wants to understand how INGOs developed their current interest in […]

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How did the Randomistas get so good at influencing Policy?

I’m a critic of the degree of overselling of randomized control trials (RCTs), but there’s no denying that the randomistas have been phenomenally successful snake oil salesmen and women, persuading large chunks of Big Aid to adopt their approach to what constitutes evidence and truthiness. If you want to learn how they did it, try […]

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Africa in 2019: 7 trends to watch, by Apollos Nwafor

I get lots of internal Oxfam emails. Some of them I even read. Here’s a particularly useful 2019 curtain raiser from Apollos Nwafor, our Pan African Director: ‘There are several issues that put Africa in focus this year: Reform at the African Union: The reforms agreed by the heads of state at the extraordinary meeting […]

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Book Review: Can We Know Better? by Robert Chambers

Robert Chambers is a role model – in his mid-80s, he has retained all the curiosity, humour, iconoclasm, commitment and originality that has made him a cult figure on large parts of the development circuit, North and South. His latest book, Can We Know Better?, builds on a string of publications going back to 1983 […]

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World Bank President Jim Kim resigns: what’s his legacy and what happens next?

Speculation is swirling about the reasons for World Bank President Jim Yong Kim’s abrupt departure this week. But what’s his legacy, and what happens next? Nadia Daar, head of Oxfam’s Washington DC office, gives a steer. On Monday when I drafted Oxfam’s reaction to news of World Bank Jim Kim’s abrupt and unexpected departure from […]

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Why we finally need to face up to information fatigue in 2019 (and 3 ways to do it)

Guest post by Caroline Cassidy, a freelance communications specialist and associate for ODI and On Think Tanks 2018 was an intense year. On a personal level, I moved countries and became freelance, so that probably has a lot to do with it. But I don’t think it was simply that. Recently, every year seems to […]

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Who Are the World’s Poor? New overview from CGD

Guest post from Gisela Robles and Andy Sumner It sounds like a simple question: Who are the world’s poor? Farmers, right? Well, yes, but not only.  In a new CGD working paper, Gisela Robles and I take a closer look at the data on global poverty to answer this question in finer detail. We find that […]

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When to write in DevSpeak; when to use Plain Language? More handy tips.

Andrew Johnston of Words for Change felt moved to respond to Friday’s post on the use of plain language in development comms. He argues that writers have to be able to write for multiple audiences simultaneously, which reminds me of Disney films’ amazing ability to combine a simple narrative to entertain the kids with enough […]

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Just to be clear: why Devspeak needs to adopt Plain Language

Following the recent FP2P discussion on devspeak, Kate Murphy of Translators Without Borders got in touch and said she needed to vent. Be my guest. If the aid sector is to communicate more effectively, we must do more than tame the rampant devspeak that Duncan highlighted in his recent blog. Instead we should focus on […]

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How can the UN become a Thought Leader again?

When was the last time you read anything from UNCTAD? Back in the day (say, early 2000s), its annual Trade and Development Report (TDR) was one of the big annual milestones (along with the World Development Report, Human Development Report etc). They were essential reading for any policy wonk. They’re all still being published, but […]

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How does Localization work on the ground? Podcast with Evans Onyiego and video of his work in Northern Kenya

On the margins of the localization discussion I covered yesterday, I grabbed a few minutes to interview Evans Onyiego. Evans runs a local Caritas office in Maralal, in Northern Kenya, where the Church is playing a big role in trying to rebuild trust between ethnic groups and communities whose traditional rivalries have been turbo-charged by the […]

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Localization in Aid – why isn’t it happening? What to do about it?

Spent two days this week discussing ‘Localization in Conflict Settings’. The subject is littered with aid jargon, but important – how does the humanitarian system ‘transfer power and resources’ to ‘local actors’ rather than outsiders insisting on running the whole thing (badly) themselves? It was organized by Saferworld and Save the Children Sweden to help […]

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